Video: The Incredible Science of Cheese-Making

Take a look into the fascinating science of cheese—from MRIs to microbes.


Americans eat about 33 lbs of cheese a year, and KQED Quest recently looked into our ever-evolving taste for salty, fermented blocks of milk in a segment on the "Science and Art of Cheese."

It delves into a short history of the bacterial processes that transform raw, fluid milk into hard blocks of Cheddar, feta, or Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk, a cheese that's taken on some of the unique attributes of Northern California's atmosphere.

In addition to capturing the artistic elements of harnessing particular flavors, the producers spoke with scientists at the University of California at Davis who are also looking into reducing the salt content—without changing the quality and texture—which involves sticking blocks of feta cheese into MRIs. Whether you appreciate cheese for its sensory attributes or its microbial characteristics, or both, it's well worth watching.